Learning From Our Kids
There are many things a child can teach us older people. One of the most important lessons they teach us is to “be”; that is, to be ourselves and to be true to who we are. As most of us know, UChurch currently has 100+ children in our church family. That means we have reached the triple digit number of this next generation. Further, children represent the largest demographic within our church. That is quite something to take in!
What do you think of when you think of a child? They can be thought of for their pure innocence, inexpressible love, and overwhelming joy. Up to this point in their lives all they know is to be and not to do. Children fully understand the truth that they are first a human being and not a human doing. One explanation of why kids are so free to be themselves, and not care about who is watching, is because they are living from their heart. On the contrast, adults often live from their mind, and can have a much more difficult time at being free to express themselves. In other words, children are led by their spirit and adults often live out of their soul (mind, will, and emotions).
A child’s early development years can be a time when a child first encounters the spiritual world and are awakened to the very real reality about God. They are introduced to the Christian faith in a way that is quite simplistic, yet factual. They intuitively begin to realize who God is, what He is like, and some even remember having encounters with Jesus as a child. This is a special time in a child’s formative years whereby eternity enters into their precious and little (yet very big) heart, without any of the blockages or hindrances that later life can bring. Little children give us, big people, keen insights about who God is and what He is like. They show us, practically and with great enthusiasm, what it looks like to be a child of God. A child teaches the older generation much of what we have been learning as a church this past season, mainly in regards to being a son or a daughter with our Heavenly Father. Children show this through their unwavering confidence and deep-seated knowing that they are loved, which in turn, enables them to be themselves. Another way they demonstrate this is by being nurtured in a safe and protective environment , they can more easily express their love to the Father, as well as to other people, including grown-ups. Lastly, is their humility in being unafraid to dance in a goofy way or to draw something that isn’t perfect – they just want to do it and this comes from their heart.
To provide a picture of what childlikeness looks like, think of a child’s hand. Notice that when they are learning something new their hands are open-handed and not closed-fisted. The scripture from Matthew 18:3-4 comes to mind when Jesus answers his disciples question of who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Here are some examples of what the kids from within our community are doing that displays their freedom: drawing on the chalkboard, throwing stuffed animals across the main stage, dragging parents to the front to dance with them, and coming up to hang out with their parents who are on the worship team. In summary, children teach adults that living in freedom is a pretty cool idea and having the courage to live this way is what makes life so enjoyable.
Dwight Van Middlesworth is the leader of the UChurch Multimedia Team and has been part of our church family for 13 years. A writing and reading enthusiast, he enjoys thinking about the big and small things in life, as well as using his witty sense of humour to make other’s laugh.